Analysis of Francis Bacon's The Four Idols

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Analysis of Francis Bacon's The Four Idols

In "The Four Idols," Francis Bacon discusses the concept of what fundamentally stands in the way of a human using the correct way of arriving upon a conclusion. Bacon believes there are four falsehoods that delay people from uncovering what they need to: the idols of the tribe, cave, marketplace and theater. At first I thought that these idols did not apply to humans at all, but now, after careful consideration, I understand how each idol relates to humankind.

The Idols of the Tribe represent the illusions of human nature: it refers to the idea that our everyday problems arise simply because we are humans. For example, it is human nature to think that there is more order in the world than there really is, to accept things as they are without question, and to not rest until we discover the truth about a certain subject. Humans tend to believe what they want to believe, even if there is evidence for the opposing theory; this is due to human free will as well as our emotional needs and responses. A prime illustration of these characteristics is that of the earth moving around the sun. At one point in time, many humans thought that the earth was the center of the universe and all things revolved around it (the earth). Though many philosophers and astronomers proposed alternate theories, the popular opinion stood. Even when evidence was presented in favor of the sun being the primary object the planets circled around, a great number of people stubbornly stuck with the old ways of thought.

The Idols of the Cave represent the illusions of the individual. Everyone has their own "cave" which alters their opinions differently, depending upon their...

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...ecause I do not have experience concerning that culture. On the other hand when discussing any type of minority, I can contribute a great deal of the information I have gained from my childhood adventures.

In brief, I agree that we, as humans, tend to be set in our ways and many of our problems are related to miscommunication, along with the fact that our judgments are biased because of our experiences and education. Even though I believe that it is human nature to lean towards the more interesting argument, I do not agree that all humans follow the individual in command without questioning as well as disagreeing with their views on at least one subject.

Works Cited

Bacon, Francis. "The Four Idols." Jacobus, 379-393.

Jacobus, Lee A. A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers, 5th ed. Boston: Bedford Books, 1999.

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